French Guiana was originally inhabited by a number of Native American peoples, among them the Caribs, Arawak, Emerillon, Galibi, Palikur, Wayampi, and Wayana.

In 1498 French Guiana was first visited by Europeans when Christopher Columbus sailed to the region on his third voyage and named it the "Land of pariahs".
In 1624 France attempted to settle in the area, but was forced to abandon it in the face of hostility from the Portuguese, who viewed it as a violation of the Treaty of Tordesillas; in which the new world was devided between Spain and Portugal.
However French settlers returned in 1630 and in 1643 managed to establish a settlement at Cayenne along with some small-scale plantations. In 1658 the Dutch West Indies Company seized French territory to establish the Dutch colony of Cayenne. The French returned once more in 1664, and founded a second settlement at Sinnamary
Following the Treaty of Breda on 31 July 1667 the area was given back to France.

After the Treaty of Paris in 1763, which deprived France of almost all her possessions in the Americas other than Guiana and a few islands, Louis XV sent thousands of settlers to Guiana who were lured there with stories of plentiful gold and easy fortunes to be made. Instead they found a land filled with hostile natives and tropical diseases. One and a half years later only a few hundred survived.
Later on, slaves were brought out from Africa and plantations were established along the more disease-free rivers. Exports of sugar, hardwood, Cayenne pepper and other spices brought a certain prosperity to the colony for the first time.
In 1848 France abolished slavery and the ex-slaves fled into the rainforest. Subsequently called Maroons, they formed a sort of buffer zone between the Europeans (who settled along the coast and main rivers) and the unconquered (and often hostile) Native American tribes of the inland regions. Deprived of slave labour the plantations were soon taken over by the jungle, and the planters ruined.

French Guiana was used as a penal colony and place of exile during the French Revolution, and under Napoleon III permanent penal camps were established. Devils Island, one of the Īles du Salut, off the coast, became notorious. The penal colonies were evacuated after World War II.

In 1947, French Guiana became an overseas department of France, and in 1974 it also became an administrative region.

I have visited French Guiana in march 2004

It was part of my visist to Suriname.

These are the places i have seen

Saint Laurant du Maroni

Please let me know when you're having questions.
i would be pleased to help you.

Things to do and other tips
This illustrate's my memories of French Guiana
The jungle is taking over a ship in the Marowijne river.

See my "Things to do " pages for more pictures.

When i'am visiting a country i like to be prepared;
So i know something about the Country and i can plan the things to visit.
That's why i 'm reading books;looking at travel maps etc.

See my "Things to read" pages for Books/Maps about French Guiana